The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Paperback – Jan 1 1991
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The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.
This University of Nebraska Press edition is a small, exquisitely produced paperback. The book design, based on the original first edition of 1886, includes wide margins, decorative capitals on the title page and first page of each chapter, and a clean, readable font that is 19th-century in style. Joyce Carol Oates contributes a foreword in which she calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a "mythopoetic figure" like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Alice in Wonderland, and compares Stevenson's creation to doubled selves in the works of Plato, Poe, Wilde, and Dickens.
This edition also features 12 full-page wood engravings by renowned illustrator Barry Moser. Moser is a skillful reader and interpreter as well as artist, and his afterword to the book, in which he explains the process by which he chose a self-portrait motif for the suite of engravings, is fascinating. For the image of Edward Hyde, he writes, "I went so far as to have my dentist fit me out with a carefully sculpted prosthetic of evil-looking teeth. But in the final moments I had to abandon the idea as being inappropriate. It was more important to stay in keeping with the text and, like Stevenson, not show Hyde's face." (Also recommended: the edition of Frankenstein illustrated by Barry Moser) --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of a man who discovered how to give his evil side the freedom of independence from his conscience is read with asperity by Ralph Cosham. The rising tide of fear that Stevenson evokes in his characters-from the storytelling gentlemen through whom the tale is narrated to Dr. Jekyll himself as he realizes Mr. Hyde's overwhelming power-is fortified by Cosham's straightforward delivery. There is no need for voicing or special sound effects since the pace of the reading keeps listeners as engaged as does the author's carefully scripted scenes and dialogues. For all collections, both library and classroom.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Once again, I saw Spencer Tracy before I read the book, so I was anticipating a different type of story. I read "Treasure Island" so I am familiar with Stevenson's writing style but I did not realize that this story was more of a mystery that draws the conclusion and revelation in the end. The explanation of man and his duel personality is excellent and I suspect he draws on personal experience.
I read the kindle version. It was sparse and strait forward; there was not a lot of fluff and speculation from other personalities. I made sure that the text-to speech was activated before purchasing. This helped but I had to keep reminding myself that the names were mispronounced.
In any event without the kindle I probably would have bought the book but not gotten around to reading it for a few years.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941)
That dream inspired "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," a haunting novella about a man and his dark alter ego -- and while the big twist is known to everyone (sort of like "Psycho" and the identity of Luke's father), it is a pretty harrowing story. Despite the dry 19th-century prose, Stevenson injects a real sense of looming evil -- a grotesque, malevolent shadow that looms over every scene, even if Mr. Hyde isn't present.
The lawyer Mr. Utterson is concerned about a strange person he encountered in the street one day -- the grotesque, cruel Mr. Hyde, who tramples a child and has to be railroaded into paying off the kid's family. What he finds especially troubling is that Mr. Hyde has a connection to his old friend Henry Jekyll. Jekyll pays money to Hyde, and even made a will leaving everything to Hyde if Jekyll should vanish for more than a couple months.
Utterson unsurprisingly thinks that Hyde is blackmailing him over some misdeed in his wild youth. So he's determined to save his friend from Hyde. But when Utterson brings up the subject, Jekyll is weirdly defensive of Hyde.
A year passes, and a maidservant witnesses an elderly gentleman being clubbed to death by Mr. Hyde -- and Utterson recognizes the murder weapon as a cane he once gave to Jekyll. Jekyll claims to have severed his friendship with Hyde, but his behavior over the following weeks becomes increasingly erratic. When Jekyll's butler begs Utterson to help him save his employer, they uncover the bizarre and grotesque connection between Jekyll and Hyde...
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Read more ›
I have seen many movie versions of this classic. So, I made the assumption that I knew the true story. Then I read this book. Was my assumption ever wrong!!!
This particular book of less than 150 pages has five parts:
(1) Opening Pages. They include a brief biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 to 1894). (Takes up 4% of the book.)
(2) Introductory Essay. This was written by the late, famous Russian author Vladimir Nabokov. (Takes up 20%.)
(3) The Actual Story. Its original title is "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886). (Takes up 65%.)
(4) Afterword to the Story. It is written by a modern writer. (Takes up 8%.)
(5) Selected Bibliography. Outlines great works by and about R.L. Stevenson. (Takes up 3%.)
The introductory essay was an actual lecture Nabokov gave when he was associate professor at Cornell University from 1948 to 1959. It gives a thorough, detailed analysis of this "seldom read" classic.
The afterword consists of a shorter analysis of this classic by the modern writer Dan Chaon. I felt that this afterword provided valuable insight regarding the story of Jekyll and Hyde.
Chaon sums up the entire story: "The structure of ['Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'] follows a path as indirect and elusive as its multiple narrative voices. With its obliquely recorded incidents, its eyewitness accounts and sealed confessions, it resembles...a [police detective's] casebook--a collection of gathered clues, fragments, through which the clever detective may be able to...project a complete narrative. Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of this novel [of ten chapters] is that, in fact, there's so much left here for [the reader] to fill in, so many scenes that [the reader] can only imagine.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Just finished reading this classic, well printed and I like the spooky green cover very interesting. I recommend to every enthusiast of classical horror stories.Published 14 months ago by Mathieu bissonnette
decent book but not very engaging. you spend about 7 pages bored then about 3 engaged. decent read however if your bored.Published 20 months ago by elliot wilson
Had to read this for a university class on Gothic literature and I really enjoyed it. I recommend to anyone as it's a great read and even if it manages not to tickle your fancy you... Read morePublished on May 16 2014 by Brandon
Everyone should read this classic book. There are so many references in life to this book, and also helps one deal with one's demons.Published on Feb. 28 2014 by shadirocks
Atty. Mr. Utterson is worried, as the keeper of Dr Henry Jekyll's will. The will gives everything to Edward Hyde incase of Henry's death or disappearance. Mr. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2013 by Bernie